Judge Fear’s Big Day Out by Various Authors
Abaddon, ebook, £4.99
Reviewed by Martin Willoughby
These are comic book stories without pictures and are superb. For someone who, like me, doesn’t read comic books, this is an excellent way to be introduced to the grumpy cop called Judge Dredd.
You think your dad or grandad are grumpy old men? They have nothing on Dredd. Any infraction of the law, no matter how small, is worthy of punishment. He’s fair, to a degree, but harsh in a city of violence and crime. Very few people aren’t involved in crime to some degree, mostly through necessity, needing Dredd and his colleagues to enforce the law.
Yet…in the midst of all this comic book violence and carnage is a fair bit of humour. Dredd delivering a baby while under fire. Having to attend a social event and threatening people with imprisonment. The names of various housing blocks, such as the Rick Astley one. He never gave up on that. [You’ve just been rick-rolled]
The writers seem to have caught the essence of Judge Dredd and Mega City One, though I say that as someone who has only a passing familiarity with the comic books from my youth and a couple of films. The Karl Urban one, especially.
For readers like myself who prefer stories to comics, these are a perfect introduction to Dredd’s world. For those who are subsumed in that world, it’s an interesting take on the series.
Throughout this book, you’ll get to meet Judge Fear, an ex-human who can kill people just by looking at them. There are stories about Zombies, people turning into bugs, and some telepaths to boot. All of them are told with tongue firmly in cheek, with Dredd either as the main character or hovering in the background, ready to pass judgement or kill.
I highly recommend it to those who know little about Judge Dredd while commending it to fans of the series.